The word “Ultimate” is used so much in internet marketing that it’s become a cliche. This post isn’t about what you think it is. There’s not even anything to buy. Unless it’s buying the line of the political leaders in both parties who – to various degrees – think they know everything about everything.
Free people are the ultimate resources in a society.
Keep reading some excerpts from Arthur Robinson and you’ll see what I mean.
Economist Julian Simon, in his book “The Ultimate Resource 2,” describes and verifies a fundamental economic law. Each human being who is born, on average, produces more resources than he consumes – IF he possesses also the freedom to do so. That “IF” is the essence of America’s current energy difficulties.
Why are American fuel prices approaching $5 per gallon? Why are food and electricity prices on their way to doubling? Why are economic conditions chaotic? The reason is simple. Americans no longer possess the freedom to produce the goods and services required to maintain their former standard of living. Taxation – both direct and indirect through currency inflation, runaway government regulation and government-sponsored- and- encouraged litigation have reduced the productivity of Americans below that required to maintain their way of life. This tyranny – this economic slavery – has been produced entirely by the federal and state governments of the United States.
There are no resource limitations, technological limitations or geopolitical reasons for the current energy shortages and high prices. These shortages and prices are solely the result of taxation, regulation and litigation that have stifled American energy-producing industries.
The technology that now sustains the people of the United States– with very rare exceptions such as advances in computers – was produced by earlier generations of Americans, who were economically free.
When you use a polyethylene bag to carry your store purchases, it is very likely that the polyethylene was produced in a petrochemical plant that my father, Edward H. Robinson, helped to make possible. He was head of design and construction for many such plants, including the large Union Carbide petrochemical and polyethylene plant at Sea Drift, Texas.
When that plant was built, my dad’s personal taxes totaled 10 percent – and a partial gold standard restricted inflation; industrial regulations were few and sensible; and government-sanctioned litigation was almost non-existent. Besides the technical problems of design and the leadership duties required to direct the engineering and construction personnel, his biggest headache was squabbling among his office secretaries.
That polyethylene plant would not be built in the United States today. Government restrictions would make its construction entirely impracticable.